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Old 12-26-2008, 06:56 PM   #11
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Re: Solar Input

Hi-

Yes, I used Kee Klamp structural fittings along with 1.5" SCH40 galvanized steel pipe to construct the mast and support legs. The turbine is a 400-watt Air-X model from Southwest Windpower.


Main mast is 10', support legs are 7'.

Detail of support legs and mast connection:

McMaster part #4936T56


Detail of deck attachment:

McMaster part #4936T66

My only complaint is that the steel pipe is quite heavy and it's a little scary to set up while standing on the deck. I'd love to come up with a way to erect it with less danger factor. Another issue, albeit a small one, is that there is a bit of noise in the bus when the turbine spins. I haven't experimented with rubber mounts or the like but I imagine improvements could be made to the mounting system.

HTH
Sean
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Old 12-26-2008, 10:08 PM   #12
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Re: Solar Input

I'm not an expert- this is based on my research before I started putting my system together.

I'm pretty sure that most solar controllers won't handle a wind generator. The Air-X has an integrated controller and is "plug and play"; it is simply connected to the battery. It can be used while a solar controller is also connected; they both simply connect to the battery terminals. If the wind generator isn't self controlled, it will need a controller that upon full battery charge sends voltage to an external shunt, something like a space heater, bank of lights etc. OR has the ability to short the turbine to create internal electromagnetic resistance (what the Air-X does). If the controller simply breaks the charging circuit (somewhat like a solar controller does), the wind turbine can free-wheel, possibly over speeding and causing damage to itself or surroundings. Of course these functions can be accomplished simply with a set of switches, but then will need monitoring or be manually over-ridden/ turned off; i.e. it won't be a 24/7 automatic system. sw 1. = charge sw2 = external load sw3 = generator shunt.

Chuck, you're right on with the light plant mast. I've been looking for one for about a year now. Need to get that generator up above the turbulence. A quick crank-crank and you're up 20-30 ft. There's a dead one at a local mine I'm hoping to get cheap.
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Old 12-29-2008, 12:41 AM   #13
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Re: Solar Input

Smitty,
I think you're headed in the right direction with Sundanzer or Sunfrost food storage. That's what the off-grid folks around here use (where the winter sun rating is only about 4 hours per day). Steeper price up front, but super, super efficient. If I can get a bus going, I would prefer those with a couple of extra batteries over the typical RV AC/DC/propane units.

I would probably prefer the Sundanzer chest style over the Sunfrost, even though they take up more room, because I don't want all the cold falling out on the floor when I open the doors. But then again, everybody's style is different.
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Old 12-29-2008, 08:57 PM   #14
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Re: Solar Input

smitty;
iirc small cruising sailboats use chest type plate freezers that can be recharged with minimal electricity. I also recall someone on the truck conversion forum that claims he can keep his chest freezer frozen with only one hr of 120v per day, he opens the freezer once or twice dailY and uses it to fill a cooler that he uses for a day box. the boat people put hteir frozen oods on the plate and mthen load the freezer with refrigerated product on top or close to the door/lid.

with some outside of the box thinking an efficient plate type refrigeration system could be designed into a countertop/workmarea.
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Old 12-29-2008, 10:01 PM   #15
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Re: Solar Input

Quote:
iirc small cruising sailboats use chest type plate freezers that can be recharged with minimal electricity.
My sister and her husband spent a year June 2007 - June 2008 cruising with their kids, Maine to Bahamas and back. That jogged my memory. I remember he told me he custom-built (re-built?) a super-insulated enclosure for the boat's food-cooling mechanism. A custom-built box might help save $$$.

I would need to have refrigeration. Two of us go through an average of about a gallon of skim milk per day. That includes the quarts I bring to work every few days for my coffee.
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Old 12-29-2008, 10:09 PM   #16
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Re: Solar Input

Particularly if you're going solar, I'd say go with the propane fridge and free up the power draw of the fridge. They work great and use so little propane that a full bottle will last you eleventy zillion years. Almost.
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Old 12-30-2008, 09:17 PM   #17
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Re: Solar Input

Quote:
Originally Posted by Smitty
I plan to change alot in the way I eat, as opposed to the way it is now....lol, get hungry, go to fridge & slap something in the frying pan. I plan to eat alot more fresh (caught) fish, as well as more wild game (small game that won't require being stored, other than maybe 1 meal worth of leftovers).
Start making those changes now!!

Quote:
The more time passes, the more I want to talk myself completely out of even using solar & refrigeration. I'm not a huge milk drinker, but it can be purchased in powder form, butter can be canned, eggs (from what I understand) will keep a fair amount of time without refrigeration, meats can be canned, as well as cheeses. I doubt it will come down to that though, however I may give serious reconsideration to the extent of solar funding I'm willing to spend.
I have mostly given up any plans for serious solar. My reason is that I HATE HEAT!!!! I hate the sun! I burn to a crisp, I want it cool, I will find the coolest, shadiest place to park so I can enjoy being there. If I were to park in the sun on purpose I'd use more in AC to make it cool than the solar would put out!

You're right about the various foods you can get in canned form. I eat a lot of food from these guys:

http://honeyvillegrain.com/

Their powdered milk is quite passable. Their powdered eggs are also okay, tasting just fine but have a slight "off" texture... mixing in one real egg goes a long way to fixing that. My typical breakfast consists of a bowl of cereal (out of a can), milk (powdered, out of a can), a handful of blueberries or strawberries (freeze dried, out of a can) and a spoonful of sugar to make it a bit sweeter. Except for the sugar it's all out of cans! The milk I make up the evening before and chill it in the fridge overnight. I also eat a lot of freeze-dried veggies (out of a can) that are much tastier than wet-canned veggies, almost as good as frozen veggies, but require no refrigeration. They sit in a dry can. You put a handful in some water to hydrate a while and they're ready to cook.

With some changes in lifestyle and eating habits you can really cut down your need for refrigeration. In my home over the past year I quit using a full sized freezer and got rid of my huge fridge/freezer and bought a smaller refrigerator. There are three of us in the home and I often find my fridge is more than half empty. I should have bought an even smaller one!
In my bus I plan on using the smallest, most efficient refrigerator that I can find or make. A fellow has to have SOME refrigeration, at least for beer.

-Ray
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Old 12-31-2008, 01:01 AM   #18
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Re: Solar Input

Hey Ray, drink box wine & ditch the reefer
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Old 12-31-2008, 01:09 AM   #19
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Re: Solar Input

Quote:
Originally Posted by bus-bro
Hey Ray, drink box wine & ditch the reefer
Hehe.... I do drink boxed wine!

-Ray
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